Ramiro Quib Call [pictured with his wife, Elvia, in 2018], pastor of Arca de Noe church in Guatemala, went to be with the Lord very early on the morning of Friday, January 21.

Ramiro was a longtime elder and leader in the Q'eqchi' Estoreño Izabal Presbytery, a predominantly indigenous presbytery in eastern Guatemala with which Crescent Hill church has had a partnership since 2010.

Crescent Hill folks first visited the Izabal area in Guatemala - including its largest city, El Estor, on the banks of Lake Izabal, the country's largest lake - in 2007. CHPC and the presbytery formalized the relationship in 2010. Since then, the partnership has included: exchanging news and praying for each other, visits (both ways), learning about each other's culture and language and faith, shared/parallel Bible study, and CHPC financial support for various presbytery initiatives. Depending on how you count it, we have visited the presbytery 11 times, and representatives from the presbytery have visited us 3 times.

Probably half a dozen people have been critical to the strength of the partnership, and certainly Pastor Ramiro has been one of those half a dozen people. He was the one person who had been on all 3 visits to Kentuckiana. In recent years, he was one of two presbytery people who CHPC folks connected with most.

Originally a public-school teacher, Ramiro later established a trucking business and served as an elder at Arca de Noe. He was ordained as a minister in 2015 and has served as Arca de Noe's pastor ever since. He was also a leader in the presbytery, in the national Guatemalan church, and in a new predominantly Q'qechi' (the specific Mayan/indigenous cultural group that folks in the presbytery are part of) synod recently formed within the Guatemalan church.

Ramiro, 47, leaves his wife Elvia (a community health worker), daughter Deysi, son Wilson, two children-in-law, and grandchildren Ezekial and Dayami, as well as his congregation and all of us.

Ramiro had a quiet humility that made him a superb servant leader. He was learned and a good listener. And yet he also wasn't afraid to stand up to people when he thought things were going wrong in the church, and he could be a thunderous preacher and prayer leader when that seemed appropriate. He was a talented musician and also a quiet supporter of women's leadership in the church. And he was a devoted supporter and fan of Crescent Hill church and was always excited to visit with national PC(USA) leaders on visits to the Presbyterian Center (when in town for a CHPC visit) or when those leaders traveled to Guatemala.

Ramiro had been suffering from a myriad of health challenges in recent years and had visibly weakened. It is not known exactly what killed him. Like his friends and neighbors and colleagues - and, in many cases, like all of us - he had suffered when the one-two-three punch of hurricanes/climate disruption, COVID (which he and his family members had almost all contracted), and a severe shutdown imposed by the government (and attendant economic and political problems) struck Guatemala/Izabal. (All of these plus the Trump Administration immigration crackdown have put any visits back and forth on hold since 2017.)

Nevertheless, CHPC folks and Ramiro and some of his colleagues have been able to stay in touch via Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Messenger video chats, and conventional phone conversations and have been able to share about many of the ups and downs in our countries, our local communities, and church communities in recent years.

Join us in celebrating his life, work, and ministry and mourning his passing. You may leave condolences for Ramiro’s family and congregation by posting on Ramiro’s Facebook page. More opportunities for marking his transition may be forthcoming.